Less Is More
In today's "stuff" filled world, I am a huge fan of the less is more ideal. When it comes to your big day, simplicity goes a long way with the elegance of your wedding.
Choosing a venue that requires minimal dressing will help lessen the amount of decorating you have to worry about. Here are a few of my favorites that don't require a lot of "atmosphere" decorating:
Making sure you have cohesive elements is another great way to ensure your look isn't too busy, but just the right touch. Try and come up with a color palette/theme and stick to it! For example, make sure your signage elements are cohesive, and if not the exact same, at least the same color/type/texture, etc. If you like the mismatched look (i.e. I loooove mismatched china), just make sure the general idea is the same and create that theme throughout your wedding space.
When designing your guest tables, remember not to over-do it. Remembering that there will be a lot of things added to the tables once the caterers and guests arrive will help keep the clutter at a minimum while maintaining an elegant look. Popular elements to have on guest tables include:
Chargers or plating
I love this table set up! Matt and Alex had a simple yet elegant theme for their wedding, and used candle sticks for their centerpieces and incorporated them into other places in the wedding as well. They had simple yet personal table numbers and the tambourines they placed on the tables doubled as their send-off, as guests played the tambourines during their descent from the reception.
If you want to add a special touch to your tables for your guests with favors, try to think of meaningful and useful items that guests will love to take home, not something that they probably have a ton of. Even something as simple as a written "thank you, we're glad you're here!" on the table will mean a lot to your guests! Don't feel like you HAVE to have this element, though! Weddings today are about experiences and memories, so if you don't want to include an item like this, incorporate this cost elsewhere in your budget where it can be better spent!
Think about re-purposing decorations from your ceremony space into your reception space as well. This will minimize cost and waste, and why not reuse things that would otherwise be used at the ceremony for 30 minutes to an hour and then forgotten?! Also consider rentals instead of purchasing and then dealing with the hassle of re-selling or trashing afterwards. Wonderful vendors such as Christy with Creative In Bloom and Michele with Perfect Parties Tents and Events (to name a few Bloomington favorites) have amazing rental options for all your signage, table, chair, and invitational needs, plus more! This is often more cost effective, and I'm all about supporting small businesses in the area!
One more tip to consider is using tables and chairs that don't require linens or chair covers. This can be a costly part of your wedding, and there are so many modern options available these days. Often, the cost of shipping in the linens, steaming them to look nice, shipping them back to get cleaned and re-stocked is more costly than paying a little extra for a nice table that doesn't need linens at all!
When considering all of these details for your wedding, be mindful of your style and what is important to YOU on YOUR wedding day. Guests will remember the experience and how they felt, not all of the little extra things that probably just went to the trash at the end of the night.